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Mentalities of Political Catholicism in Austria

Taking the actual political situation in Austria as her starting point, the author provides a psychoanalytical inspired historical reflection. Traditionally, it was religion that structured the inner and outer world of people. It is argued that in Austria this was possible due to the combined powers of Church and Dynasty. For more than five hundred years the Catholic Church and the court of Habsburg cooperated with success in establishing a reciprocal assurance of power. This determined people to a high degree and marked political-institutional as well as psychosocial structures. It is argued that the mechanism of disavowal (Verleugnung) became a dominant mechanism of defence that upheld, far beyond World War I and the Third Reich, the myth of a special Austrian mission, to the price of a narrowed capacity to remember and a reduced perception of reality.

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